Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) | ANNAPURNA CIRCUIT

Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) | ANNAPURNA CIRCUIT

Nepal, a heavenly destination for tourists, is home to 8 of the highest mountains in the world. Nepal has many trekking routes across the country. Every trekking routes are famous for its own natural beauty and specifications. ABC (Annapurna Base Camp) is not only the best trekking route of Nepal but also in the world. 

Excited to know? How to reach Annapurna Base Camp? Are you coming from abroad? You need to first land at Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport and then head to Pokhara in order to reach ABC.

Annapurna circuit is home to the massive mountain range which includes.

MountainElevationRank (in World)
Annapurna I (Main)8,091 m (26,545 ft)10th
Annapurna II7,937 m (26,040 ft)16th
Annapurna III7,555 m (24,786 ft)42nd
Annapurna IV7,525 m (24,688 ft)47th
Annapurna South7,219 m (23,684 ft)101st
Gangapurna7,455 m (24,457 ft)59th

You are guaranteed to be shell-shocked with the beauty of such gigantic and peaceful mountains all along the routes. You will be amazed to know that the Annapurna circuit is home to 16 more than 6000 meters peaks, 13 peaks more than 7000 meters, and obviously the highest, Annapurna I, 8091 meters tall.

The extreme steep south face of Annapurna I makes it the treacherous and hardest mountain to climb, even harder than Everest according to many mountaineers. Annapurna III is considered the hardest to climb among the Annapurnas. However, it is still unclimbed from the southeast ridge. 

These mountains are infamous for avalanches and blizzards of snowstorms. 43 people became the victim of such a cruel and devastating avalanche, to say the least, in 2014, one of the dangerous and unfortunate avalanches in Nepal.

Other peaks of Annapurna circuit, less known to tourist, includes:

Khangsar Kang7485 m (24557 ft)
Tarke Kang7202 m (23629 ft)
Lachenal Peak7140 m (23425 ft)
Tilicho Peak7135 m (23409 ft)
Nilgiri Himal North7061 m (23166 ft)Central 6940 m (22769 ft)and South 6839 m (22438 ft)
Machhapuchchhre6993 m (22943 ft)
Hiunchuli6441 m (21132 ft)
Gandharba Chuli6248 m (20499 ft)

The world-famous trekking route, ABC TREK, was first opened to foreigners in 1977. During the old days, the trekking would take at least 23 days, to reach the base camp from Kathmandu, the capital, using the Kathmandu-Pokhara highway.

Now the situation is changed, the road construction facility has narrowed down the trekking journey to a max of 6 days to reach. The road facilities in the areas have not only helped in tourism but also benefited many locals to increase their standard of life. 

The whole trekking journey is facilitated by a number of hotels that give the best hospitality to trekkers, resembling the Nepalese culture and tradition. The road facility has also welcomed the adventure of mountain biking in the area, attracting more tourists. 

Now trekkers can enjoy new places in the Annapurna circuit like Upper Mustang, Naar-Pho Valley, Manaslu, and Tsum Valley. Of course, this extra route will cost you more money and an extra permit, the Annapurna circuit so vast that the whole trekking might take months to complete.

A Complete Guide to Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) Trek

A Holiday experience full of memories and excitement!

What does the ABC trek offer? 

A jaw-dropping, heart pounding, and breathe stopping Mountain View, heart whelming hospitality, untouched and undisturbed natural beauty, and typical Nepali culture to remember for life.

This is the journey you do not want to miss. A tranquil landscape that relaxes your mind, forests that give unique smell and natural vibes, flowers that make you say ‘wow’, Gurung and Magar villages that will charm you with their charming and welcoming hospitality, are some of the unique things you can expect to experience during this trek.

Annapurna Base Camp sits at an altitude of 4130m, waiting to shell-shock visitors with the heart-stopping majestic view.

What to expect in ABC trek? | Things to do in Annapurna Base Camp!

Natural Experience

For any tourist living in the city all their life, make sure you are prepared to witness and experience the sheer beauty of nature and the Himalayas. You don’t even have to reach halfway or near ABC to give yourself the luxury of witnessing mountains. When you reach Ghorepani-Poonhill, you will lose your mind seeing the majestic view of Dhaulagiri, Fish-tail Mountain (Macchapuchre), Annapurna I, Annapurna South, and Annapurna north all from a single viewpoint – Poonhill. 

Poonhill is one of the best viewpoints for a reason, you get a full 360-degree view of mountain giants. This place is a dream place for photographers from all over the world. 

Now keep in mind this is just the first day of your journey, now just imagine how awesome will be the next 7-8 days of trekking.

Disclaimer: Make sure your pockets are full because things get pretty expensive from here.

People and Culture

The majority of the people in this area are Magar and Gurung, but you can find other ethnic groups like Chhetris and Brahmins as well. You will be surely amazed at the hospitality of Gurung people, talking for just a few minutes feels like you know them for years. The vibe is so different and you will find no difficulty in blending in with the culture.

Almost 60,000 people visit this place yearly (of course pre-pandemic stat), making it one of the most famous and visited places in Nepal. 

The culture and tradition are obviously shadowed by the beauty of mountains, but it will hit you as a surprise package, which you wouldn’t have expected while planning the journey.

Hot springs

Nepal is pretty famous for hot springs. The most famous hot springs are located at Tatopani of Khasa and Tatopani (Myagdi). 

But don’t worry, you can have the experience of natural hot spring in this trek as well, which is located at Jinu Danda. Submerging in natural hot water after day-long trekking is just the remedy you will need to cleanse your mind.

Spending hours in hot natural water on a cold night must be on the bucket list of many.

Packing List

Good planning always makes the journey more exciting and memorable. It is best to know and pack all the things you might need for the trekking.

It will cost you double the money than in Kathmandu, should you buy any trekking gear in the middle of the journey. So, the wise decision will be to include all gears you need beforehand.

List of trekking gears:

  • Trekking (Rucksack) bag with rain cover. 
  • Head Torch. 
  • U-V protection sunglasses, the most for higher altitude journey  
  • Water bottles – at least one, a lifesaver for trekkers.
  • Waterproof, non-skid, and high-ankle boots 
  • Slippers or lightweight sandals  
  • High-quality warm jackets like North face, Adidas, just to name a few
  • Undergarments and woolen socks
  • Rainwear and waterproof gloves 
  • Upper and lower thermals.
  • Trekking poles 
  • TOILETRIES including sunscreen lotion, toilet paper, soap, etc.
  • Camera 
  • Medicines – you don’t want to get altitude sickness in the middle of the journey – always carry the essential med-kit which could be a lifesaver.

How expensive is ABC (Annapurna Base Camp) trek?

Trekking to any Himalayan region is expensive, especially when the trekking route is around 10 days long.

One thing to know is the lack of transportation and difficult geography of such region makes the goods twice as expensive as cities.

All utensils, gas, food items take days to reach the Himalayan region which makes everything expensive.

If you choose the trekking company to manage your whole journey then it might cost you around USD 400 – standard package, now the pricing may vary among various travel agencies based on the lodging, trekking days, foods included, etc. normally the trekking takes around 7 days.

Many people find it easy and free to travel alone, without travel agencies, in that case, it would be better to carry some extra money for any uncertain events.

When is the best time to visit ABC (Annapurna Base Camp)?

Autumn (September to November) and spring (March to May) are the ideal time to visit ABC. This is also when the traffic will be high and most of the hotels and lodges will be booked. Autumn and spring are considered the trekking season for ABC, the rest of the months are considered off-season.

Monsoon (June-August), is the rainy season, extremely hard and slippery to trek but should you choose this season to trek, you will be welcomed with the clean and sharp view of blue sky and Mountains.

From December-February (winter), heavy snow will cover all the mountains and you can hardly see any peaks for days and weeks. If you want some adventure and want to walk in a snow-covered trail for days then, this is the season for you, but witnessing a clear view of mountains will be rare. The winter season registers the least tourist in the area so, if you don’t like the crowd, then the whole ABC trail is all yours to enjoy.

How difficult is Annapurna Base Camp Trek?

If you have never trekked in your life then, every trekking will be hard and difficult at first. Going from 1-2 thousand meters to 4000 meters is not easy by any means, especially when you have to walk for 7-8 days to reach the destination.

Even without any trekking experience and advanced physical fitness, the ABC trek is not hard and very doable to any trekker having sound health.

This is not the hard and difficult trek route whatsoever, people reach ABC even in the off-season during harsh winter and rainy season.

Since you are walking slowly and gaining altitude every day, you get plenty of time to adjust your body temperature and blend with the surrounding. Most people won’t even notice any altitude sickness even though you reach 4000+ meters.

On average, the trail is moderate and suitable for any age group of people. 

HOW TO REACH ABC?

Day 1 – Kathmandu 

For any international tourist, the first destination will be Kathmandu, as the only international airport of Nepal is situated here. 

When you land in Kathmandu, the first step to visit the travel agency if you choose to take help for trekking. 

Many trekkers choose to travel on their own so what they can do is skip travel agencies and visit Thamel.

Thamel is the most popular tourist destination, famous for trekking gears, traditional items, and souvenir items at a very cheap price.

Collecting your trekking gears will be the first step.

Visiting across Kathmandu and witnessing Kathmandu Durbar Square, Pashupatinath, Syowanbu will be interesting.

Day 2 – Pokhara 

You can take a flight directly from TIC to Pokhara which will take around 25 minutes, but the road trip will be 7-8 hours long. 

As one of the best tourist destinations in Nepal, tourists prefer to spend at least one night in Pokhara visiting famous places like Phewa-Taal,  David falls, multiple caves, famous bars, and restaurants at night.

It takes several days if you want to explore the whole Pokhara but you can still enjoy your short one-day trip here in the city of 7 lakes.

Day 3 – (Nayapul to Ulleri) (at an elevation of 2080m) - 6824ft

At least an hour-long drive will take you to Nayapul, but don’t be surprised if it takes 2 hours because of traffic. From Nayapul you will part ways from the main highway that will take you to Mustang and make way towards Ulleri.

Many tourists start their journey or trek from here, but the transportation facility is available till Ghorepani.

Day 4 - Reach Ghorepani (at an elevation of 2750m) - 9022ft 

Keep in mind, if you can reach Ghorepani from Pokhara in 1 day if you take a transport, but most tourist ideal journey start from Nayapul where they start their trek. The journey from Ulleri-Ghorepani will provide a lot of memories, you travel along the river where you can swim if you prefer.

You will travel through the forest and hanging bridge along the way till you reach Ghorepani.

Many people travel up to Ghorepani just to see the view from Poonhill. Poonhill gives a 360-degree view of mountains including Annapurna range, Dhaulagiri, fish-Tail Mountain, etc.

Day 5 - Tadapani (at an elevation of 2700m) 8858ft

Every day you have to walk 8 hours on average during the whole trek. 

If you wish you can reach Tadapani from Pokhara in 2 days but is that even fun if you don’t enjoy the journey rushing for the destination?

Day 6 - From Kimrung Khola to Chomrong (at an elevation of 2177)  7143ft

Chomrong village residing at the base of Hiunchuli (6441 meters) not only provides the best food and hospitality but also the breathtaking views of Annapurna and Macchhapucchhre, and a cup of coffee of course.

Day 7 -  From Kuldi Ghar to Doban (at an elevation of 2670m ) 8760ft

Walking along the banks of the Modi River, witnessing beautiful forests, birds, and a glimpse of mountain peaks from places, you will reach Doban here you will call it a day.

Day 8 - From Doban to Deurali – Machhapuchhre Base Camp (at an elevation of 3700m) 12139ft 

Machhapuchre Base Camp is itself a famous destination among tourists. Passing through this magnificent place along your journey is always amazing.

Day 9: Annapurna Base Camp (at an elevation of 4130m) 13549ft

This is where you throw your bags, hug your friends & family, and shout out your lungs with joy. Lose yourself to the mountains and sheer beauty of Annapurna.

Take a photo, video and make some memories which you will remember and look back for the rest of your life.

Now you can take the different route to return to Nayapul which includes:

Day 10 – Bamboo

(at an elevation of 2335m) 7660ft

Day 11 – Jhinu Danda 

(at an elevation of 1780m) 5839ft

Day 12: Landruk to Tolkha to Pothana

(at an elevation of 1970m) 6463ft

Day 13: Phedi to Pokhara

You can always take a detour to Ghandruk which makes your journey few days longer. 

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